Just recently, I received a call from the head of the Canadian Disaster Response Organization (CDRO), Jim Montgomery. A former colleague from my emergency management days, Jim is the CEO of the not-for-profit organization and works with the Ontario Solicitor General for Emergency Services, ensuring sufficient support for provincial responses to emergency evacuations of First Nation communities.
In this case, the First Nation Community of Eabemetoong located 350 km North of Thunder Bay lost their water treatment plant as a result of fire. The community was without potable water resulting in 700 community residents having to be evacuated. This left approximately 75 community animals and 25 personally owned pets without their families. A team of 40 people volunteered to care for the animals until they could be reunited with their humans. The biggest challenge for these volunteers was having to make do with whatever was at hand to feed and secure the animals. This caused concern for the caregivers as they worked to keep the animals safe, not to mention adding to the stress of the pets experiencing an unfamiliar environment.
Thanks to Jim’s foresight in calling, we were able to quickly connect with our network. Manchester Pet Supplies and Burgham Sales stepped up right away providing much-needed supplies such as bowls, leashes, treats, and toys. Jim followed up with a kind letter: “The difference Pets Canada made was exceptional and recognized by Chief Atlookan, the Band Council and community members; in mitigating the impact on their animals when the community was most vulnerable. The members of Pets Canada quickly and seamlessly in a timely manner met the needs of the owners and pets in the community without hesitation, effectively and efficiently.”
Time and again, our members have jumped into the fray, giving the help necessary to care for Canadian pets in emergency situations. We are so proud of our Pets Canada members and for the opportunity to manage this nation-wide network. We will be ready to help again when the next call comes in because “Animal welfare is everyone’s business”.
President & CEO